New York-based composer Kevin Puts was recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for his first opera, Silent Night. The opera, with libretto written by Mark Campbell, was commissioned and premiered by the Minnesota Opera this past November at St. Paul’s Ordway Theater.
On Tuesday at 7 pm on Operavore, join WQXR host Jeff Spurgeon when he talks to Puts about composing Silent Night and what it means to win a Pulitzer Prize. Following the interview, we’ll bring you the Minnesota Opera’s complete performance of the opera.
The Pulitzer committee said Silent Night is "a stirring opera that recounts the true story of a spontaneous cease-fire among Scottish, French and Germans during World War I, displaying versatility of style and cutting straight to the heart."
The opera is based on the 2007 film "Joyeux Noel" about the 1914 Christmas Eve truce during World War I. The opera takes place over five days. On the third day, Christmas Eve, the bloodshed came to a halt when all sides laid down their weapons to celebrate the holiday and bury their dead (read a complete synopsis)
Conductor: Michael Christie
The German Side
Nikolaus Sprink, an opera singer: William Burden
Anna Sørensen, his lover: Karin Wolverton
Lieutenant Horstmayer: Craig Irvin
Kronprinz, son of Kaiser Wilhelm II: A. J. Glueckert
The Scottish Side
Jonathan Dale: John Robert Lindsey
William Dale, his brother: Michael Nyby
Father Palmer: Troy Cook
Lieutenant Gordon: Gabriel Preisser
The British Major: Joseph Beutel
The French Side
Lieutenant Audebert: Liam Bonner
Ponchel, his aide-de-camp: Andrew Wilkowske
The General: Ben Wager
Madeleine, Lt. Audebert's wife: Angela Mortellaro